How Technological Tools for Distance Learning Enhance Online Education

by | 3 Aug 2021

How Technology is Useful for Online Education

Technology is a crucial component of 21st century education. Digital and technology tools can enhance education by helping to create a better learning experience for both learners and instructors. 

The U.S. Department of Education states, “Used to support both teaching and learning, technology infuses classrooms with digital learning tools, such as computers and handheld devices; expands course offerings, experiences, and learning materials; supports learning 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; builds 21st century skills; increases student engagement and motivation; and accelerates learning.”

The goals of technology in distance learning are the same whether the setting is K-12, higher ed or corporate environment – creating and delivering a successful and effective learning experience that keeps students engaged. Selecting appropriate technology tools is critical for learning institutions and other organizations in order to implement effective online and virtual learning offerings. 

What Are the Most Effective Online Learning Tools? 

In a virtual learning or distance learning environment, the most effective technology will encompass specific functions and attributes that make the learning experience successful. Technology needs to provide solutions for: 

  • Communication
  • Engagement
  • Interaction
  • Collaboration 

An optimal virtual learning experience will include combinations of effective, high quality, and secure technology tools. It’s important to note that students need access to quality devices as well as secure and reliable internet access so they can successfully complete online education when necessary. In some cases, institutions need to provide high-quality tools that allow their instructors and teachers to deliver a superior experience. 

Typical categories of technological tools needed for a successful online learning experience include:

  • Hardware and devices such as laptops, desktop computers, tablets and smartphones
  • Software and apps such as office suite, content creation, productivity software
  • Accessories including hard drives, ergonomic office supplies, and webcams

Core Online Learning Technology and Tools

Virtual learning programs and experiences need to begin with core foundational technology tools such as Learning Management System (LMS), and communications and video conferencing platforms. These tools contribute some of the most crucial aspects of virtual and distance learning: effective communication and collaborations. 

Successful online learning is structured around LMS and high-quality technology tools that are secure, accessible, flexible and easy to use. The LMS typically provides the core technology platform for course creation and administration, online learning spaces, assessment, and reporting. The best LMS platforms are accessible, flexible, secure, customizable, and easy to integrate with other digital tools. Some examples of a global LMS include Moodle™ and Canvas™. 

When an LMS is paired with video conferencing communication and collaboration tools, an even more robust solution is created. Instructors and students can use additional advanced tools, apps, and software that are more specific to a subject area or to create multi-media content, for example. 

When selecting tools, options should be flexible and accessible from multiple devices and locations. In addition, security and privacy should be a main consideration when selecting digital tools. Devices, connections, and tools should be secure and private to protect both content and personal information. 

What are some of the best online tools for communication, interaction and collaboration?

  • Real time, synchronous teaching with high quality video and audio tools. These tools succeed by:
    • Providing a live, immersive experience for students and instructors alike.
    • Allowing active participation by students either individually or in groups.  
    • Replicating the classroom experience 
  • Powerful collaboration tools that further enhance the synchronous learning experience including:
    • Digital whiteboards for collaborative work
    • Annotation tools
    • Screensharing
    • Document sharing
  • Real time communication tools that allow an immersive experience and that duplicate face-to-face interaction: 
    • Chat
    • Messaging
    • Video conferencing (individual, small group, large group)

Lumicademy Platform – Next Generation Tools with Superior Security and Privacy

Lumicademy’s education-specific video conferencing platform integrates with ed tech leading LMS including Moodle™ and Canvas™ to build comprehensive virtual learning and distance learning solutions. Platform includes:

  • HD quality video recording and presentations
  • HD screensharing and collaboration
  • Privacy and security standards include true end-to-end encryption of data and private cloud storage
  • Full set of next generation collaboration tools including document sharing in over 70 formats, chat in more than 60 languages, whiteboarding for writing and drawing in real time

Learn more about enhancing the virtual classroom experience by downloading our ebook 8 Techniques to Replicate the Live Classroom Experience Online today!

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